Energy Regulator Denies Permit to Small Hydro Power Plant

The Republika Srpska entity energy regulator refused to issue electricity production permit for a small hydro power plant in central Bosnia, citing violations of environment protection regulations.

The regulator also denied access to government incentives to the company operating MHE Ilomska plant near the town of Kneževo. The government fosters energy production by buying all power produced by small power plants at a fixed price.

The regulator said that the investor in MHE Ilomska increased the plant’s power output so much that it would require a new study on the plant’s effects on the environment. Environment protection activists hailed the regulator’s decision.

“After more than a year of working together with the Kneževo organization for the protection of environment and nature reserves, the lawsuits and evidence presentation, we see no hope in (the regulator’s decision) to protect the Ilomska river, because it is already ruined; we see a chance to stop the investors’ self-will,” said Jelena Ivanić of Banja Luka’s Center for Environment.

Simeun Šodolović of Kneževo’s organization for the protection of environment and nature reserves said: “The energy regulator’s decision encouraged us to keep fighting for the protection of the Ugar river and its affluents. We expect a more successful application of regulations against unlawful actions of concessionaires and investors in the future.”

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